Posted by: fergy1008 | May 7, 2012

Woo Hoo! We’re back, baby!

Woo Hoo!  We’re back, baby!

For the first time since February, we were able to attend a chapter meeting on the Wing.  We celebrated by joining in on a post-meeting ride, the first in which we’ve ever participated. After the meeting, those that wanted to ride stood around the parking lot tossing out ideas of where to go, looking up nearby Wing Washington locations and, after a little deliberation, someone mentioned Skate Creek Road. Most of us have ridden up or down this road several times and know that, while it can be a beautiful ride along the creek and through the forest along a curvy road, it’s a road that can be closed well into spring. Angela, with her trusty new iPad, looked up the National Forest Service website and found that the road was open. With this new information, the group quickly agreed that this would be our quest for the day. Our ride leaders, Ron and Margaret Silverman, easily determined a route and once everyone mounted up, a group of nine bikes set out through Puyallup to I-5.

We took Spanaway Loop and headed out to Roy where the group stopped to allow Angela and I to take our Wing WA photo outside the Roy Bar and Grill (Boy’s Name Town)

Wing Washington Boy’s Town Name Category

We left Roy on the Spanaway/McKenna Hwy then turned left onto McKenna/Tanawax Rd. It wasn’t very long before we intersected with Hwy 7, the group turned right, and we all headed toward Alder Lake to our next planned stop, Elbe. Though the morning hadn’t looked too promising, the day was turning out to be absolutely beautiful. The ride toward Alder Lake was a nice leisurely ride down Hwy 7 through some nice sweepers and along Alder Lake where the sun shining on the lake began hinting we would have a nice day for riding.

Once in Elbe the group stopped in a parking lot for a rest/leg-stretch/coffee break/photo op.

Jennifer handed out cookies she bought in Roy (yummy – thanks Jennifer :-)) and, while the others bs’d, we and the Silvermans, rode across the street and took pictures for a Wing WA bonus at the Hobo Inn (Interesting, Creative Lodging).

Before hitting the road again several of us snagged a coffee from the local espresso stand from a very nice and cheerful barista.  Once back on the road we turned right across the Elbe bridge to continue down Hwy 7 into Morton to catch Hwy 12.

Heading east down Hwy 12 toward Packwood the weather was perfect and very welcoming. All the riders kept a good pace and before we knew it we were seeing the “Welcome to Packwood” sign. Although there are several places to feed the stomach in Packwood, Ron and Margaret stopped at a restaurant called Peters Inn. The joint had that typical small town diner vibe, but I wondered if it was even open since as we pulled in not a single car graced their parking lot. Margaret checked the front door and it was open! It was also empty so we had our choice of tables. Instead of taking over all the regular restaurant tables, Margaret steered us to a back room where we could push tables together into one great big square and also, a necessity with this group, be loud without interfering with others dining experience.  Other diners did, in fact, show up… shortly after we pulled in so did 3 or 4 other tables of patrons so it was good we were in the back.

It wasn’t long before the waitress had our drinks coming and our orders taken. While we were all chatting and waiting for food to arrive Steve asked the table for an honest answer to the question, ‘what’s the highest speed you’ve ever gotten your Wing up to?’. Turns out the top speed for everyone was merely the fastest speed allowed by law in the areas through which they’ve traveled ;-).  No one has reached speeds of say, 110, 135 and certainly not 150. But, while we’re sure the wing is more than capable of reaching these speeds, with Chapter V’s mature nature and high degree of safety standards, we’ll likely never truly know the answer to Steve’s question WINK WINK 😉

After a good lunch, it was time to head up our destination road, Skate Creek Road.

Skate Creek Road can be a challenge for those that have never ridden it before. It follows, as you might imagine, Skate Creek, which can be absolutely beautiful.

Although one might be tempted to glance at its beauty, if you look a little too long you may find yourself getting a surprise jolt from a pothole or one of the wicked dips in the road.  Due to the hard winters, low maintenance, and damage from waterfalls which flow down rock face and under the road, the road conditions vary.  The transitions between sunlight and shadow add their own level of difficulty to identifying dips and rough spots. Little advice here…if you have time and your agenda allows, stopping at one of the many pull offs offered along the route to watch the water flow is well worth it, both to take in the beauty and help keep your eyes on the road while you’re riding.

As we reached the end of Skate Creek Road, we saw a lone deer munching grass at the side of the road as it watched us pass. Passing again through Elbe, a little ways out of town the group veered up Alder Cutoff Road into Eatonville.

Once in Eatonville the group stopped for a rest/fuel/potty break.

Gary, for almost a year now, has been talking to me about Hyper Pro progressive shocks for our wing. Seizing a great opportunity, Gary offered to switch bikes so we could ride his for comparison. Once the group started heading out of town Gary and ourselves split from the crowd to head towards Tacoma. We rode Gary’s bike from Eatonville to the 224th & Pac Hwy intersection. I had  to admit the bike seemed more responsive and definitely a lot smoother. Angela also said she noticed a difference in the ride. She mentioned the bumps seemed smoother with less jolt and sharpness to them. So, when the budget allows, I will definitely be spending a day at Vonda and Gary’s house for an upgrade to my suspension. After a brief discussion with Gary, we switched back to our own bikes and parted company. Angela and I headed towards home through town which was boring but uneventful and the weather sure made the trip a lot easier to tolerate. We made a short detour to moms to drop off some paperwork and while there a couple friends of the family were admiring the bike and asking about all the switches. I took a few minutes to proudly show off the wing and explain the joys of riding and how easy a wing is to ride. After our detour we were home by 6 and fully satisfied with our day.  It was a beautiful day for a ride, and it was so nice that we didn’t have to think about the route or keep an eye out for where to turn; all that we needed to do was follow the taillights in front of us. It was our first after-meeting ride and the weather made for a very mellow day and a great second start to our riding season. Thank you Ron and Margaret for your guidance, and thank you other GWTA Chapter V members for the friendship. Tonight I’ll lay my head on the pillow with a smile on my face and many happy thoughts of the day swirling in my head. Until next time, keep the rubber side down.


Responses

  1. Great article. Really enjoyed reading it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: